Best Practices in Healthcare Construction

Program Elements

This program teaches carpenters to understand that healthcare facilities are unique work environments compared to other construction job sites.

Understanding the Unique Environment

We stress these points:


Understanding Mold

It is not uncommon to find mold, which can grow and spread undetected in a healthcare facility. If mold or fungi spores are inhaled or enter the bloodstream, serious infections or death could result, especially to immune-compromised people. When any mold is detected, it must be contained as quickly as possible.

New York City Guidelines

Mold containment and eventual removal involves a set of guidelines called the New York City Guidelines, a widely accepted document concerning mold growth and mold remediation.


Understanding Risk Evaluation

Our training develops the skills to recognize potential hazards, the factors involved, and how to read the ICRA form. This knowledge is crucial and can help those working in a healthcare facility to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the patients, facility staff, and other construction workers.


Our carpenters understand that the Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) team decides what precautions are necessary to isolate the work area and protect patients. They also know that the Interim Life Safety Measures (ILSM) team identifies fire, safety, and security steps, as well as the routing of construction materials and personnel.


Understanding the ICRA Team

We know that determining what precautions are necessary to properly isolate the work area and protect patients from hazards is the responsibility of the ICRA team, which is appointed by the healthcare facility. We teach our carpenters that, before the start of a construction or renovation project, the ICRA team studies the scope of the work to be done and evaluates the risk factors and any potential hazards that may affect patients, laboratories, sterile supplies, or medical equipment.

Carpenters understand that the purpose of the team’s assessment is to minimize the risk of hospital-acquired infections, which are the result of exposure to infectious agents brought in by other patients or that exist within the facility’s structure. When making the assessment, we teach carpenters that the team considers the needs of the facility and the patients and reviews many aspects of the project, such as foot and material traffic, noise levels, entry and exit routes, and barrier types.

They know that this information is put into an ICRA form, which becomes a guideline for the precautions required during the construction project.

Understanding the Soft-Wall System

Our training teaches the effectiveness of safely containing an entire work area with a soft-wall system. They learn to quickly install this temporary enclosure with walls constructed of polyethylene sheeting that is fire-resistant. Carpenters understand that in a healthcare facility, a soft-wall system creates a barrier that protects patients from construction hazards and containments. It is used to create a negative air pressure environment on short-term projects.

Carpenters have the expertise to build these barriers in different configurations to minimize cross-contamination while keeping patients safe without disturbing the hospital’s daily activities.

Understanding Blood Borne Pathogens

A careful understanding of blood borne pathogens is the center of an integrated teaching and learning system that offers instructor, student, and technology resources to better support instructors and prepare students. This program is designed to meet OSHA training requirements and was created for students and employees who have the potential for occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials. Training includes:


Barrier Removal (Partial Example)